May is known for spring flowers and showers. It signifies the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. May also includes one of the top 5 highest grossing holidays: Mother's Day. Over the years, this special day's meaning has evolved into different levels for me.
Up until the age of 17, this day consisted of me giving handmade and eventually bought cards and/or flowers to my mom. At the young age of 18, I became a part of the mom club myself. I continued giving cards to my mom, but now I was on the receiving end as well. Given the fact that "receiving gifts" is one of my top love languages (didn't know this at the time), I grew fond of this special day. After getting married, I gained another mom to celebrate.
Over the years, I started to have an expectation when May rolled around. You see, Mother's Day weekend is also my anniversary weekend. (Double whammy for Josh) How was I going to be made a big deal of? What was Josh going to do for me? I began to set myself up for disappointment and Josh up for failure.
I learned a difficult lesson a few years ago after Josh's mom had passed away. It was May. Mother's Day/our anniversary weekend was upon us yet again. And my expectations were not met. I was upset. Angry. Bitter. It was then, God spoke to me sternly. He said two things to me that wrecked my heart and forever changed my perspective.
1. Are you the only one who got married that day? Did you stand at the alter and marry yourself?
2. What about Josh? He doesn't even have a mom around to celebrate anymore? Have you ever thought about asking how he handles Mother's Day without his mom? Without having the ability to hug her?
Ouch! I know, right?! I was so consumed with selfishness, I ended up neglecting the needs and well-being of my spouse! I know I am not alone when I share that I was waiting for Josh to serve me. Put me first. Surprise me. Alone or not, my behavior was wrong.
Now, when May rolls around, I remember how special our wedding day was and how blessed I am to have Josh by my side. I am also reminded that his momma played a very important role in molding him to be the man he is today as well as the woman I am today.
We need to honor those God has placed in our lives, deserved or not. Husbands. Mothers. Fathers. Friends. All of them. Allowing selfishness in my life prohibited me to honor mine. Not anymore.
Humble yourself before God; let Him show you any hidden place that needs the Light. Allow the darkness to be overcome and shine bright with Light. Then be intentional to honor and serve.
Our family traveled to Ocala, Florida over Easter break with some very special friends of ours. It was wonderful. Simply wonderful. I use that word simply because that was life for 5 days. Simple. There was chaos at times (given that there we 16-19 of us at any given time), but it was simple and easy chaos. Like who is getting in which car? Which beach do we go to first? How do we get 19 people showered? How many Easter Eggs do we need to fill? Should we really tell the older boys we licked their jelly beans and sprinkled Cayenne Pepper on them? Simple.
Somehow, after returning from vacation, that simplicity and ease left. Everything seemed so much harder. Keeping up with the dishes. Finding joy in the difficult situations. Getting OUT of bed on time. Going TO bed on time. Spending time with Jesus. Exercising. Working. Why had everything become so complicated?
For me? Two reasons:
Vacations are meant to be a time to get away and disconnect. A time to breathe, unplug, let go, and relax. We totally did that and it was amazing. But life doesn't run on vacation time. You have to start using your brain again. Transition back to your normal routines and habits.
2. I unplugged.
Let me share a cute story to help paint a picture for this point. My 8 year old's job is to vacuum the office, kitchen, and dining room. After he finished the first room, he unplugged the vacuum and left it sit in a corner. I reminded him of the other rooms he needed to finish. After a few minutes I heard his voice call out,
"Mom, the vacuum's not working again." (There is a broken latch and sometimes it will not start if it is not properly connected.) I went over to him and after some minor investigating, responded,
"Buddy, the vacuum only works if you plug it in."
Smiles and laughter broke out and then BOOM! God smacked me right in the forehead and said,
"Alisha, you only work when you are plugged in."
I had unplugged from my Power Source for too long and was unable to function in the most basic of things. I like to say, I was stress paralyzed. It is not a fun place to be. I was tired. Grouchy. And not very fun to be around. (Ask my hubby and kiddos)
You want to know what's worse than unplugging from Jesus? Knowing the solution is to plug back in and you don't make it a priority to do so. *Sigh* I decided enough was enough and this week was not going to be a repeat of last week. So, here I am. Sitting at my desk at 9pm on a Sunday night, making the choice to re-engage and get my power back on.
That's all it takes, folks. A simple choice followed by simple actions.
Open His Word.
I anticipate a much better Mom/Wife/Life-tude when I wake up tomorrow morning. Life will NOT magically be all unicorns and rainbows, but it will mean the Joy of the Lord will be my strength to power me through whatever the day throws at me. New week, I welcome you.
There many reasons to eat, but my top 3 are:
1. Nourishment: something (as food) that causes growth or health
2. Enjoyment: a feeling of pleasure caused by doing or experiencing something you like; the condition of having and using something that is good, pleasant, etc
3. Honor: to regard or treat (someone or in this case, something) with admiration and respect : to regard or treat with honor
We know that what we eat affects how we feel and how our bodies work: nourishment. We also know how to enjoy food. So let's talk about honor.
Imagine taking the time to make something so beautiful, so amazing, so complex and then gifting it to someone. How would you feel if they threw it to the ground and jumped and spit on it? Broke it? Abandoned it?
Friends, that is exactly what we are doing to God when we don't take care of ourselves. God created YOU. Remember our verse? We are masterpieces! What we think, say and do is to bring honor and glory back to our Creator. Have you ever thought about honoring God with the food you eat/don't eat? And even the attitude you take towards caring for your body? Some would say that is ridiculous. Or that it doesn't matter to God. But I beg to differ.
I believe that we as Christians are to surrender EVERY part of our lives to Jesus Christ. Yet, the enemy has deceived many of us at times (me included) that God is only interested in or needs to take care of/be a part of the big or spiritual stuff. Satan has convinced us that we can handle and control our daily "small" decisions and actions.
Look at the mess we make when we do. I know it may sound ridiculous, but God wants total surrender. He wants to be a part of every little detail of our lives; all the nooks and crannies (even what we eat). We need to be like Elsa and let it go. "It" being the need to "control" and surrender.
To honor means to treat something/someone with respect and admiration. Let's shift the mindset of eating and exercising to lose weight and inches towards honoring the gift of life God has given us. Let's choose to surrender WHOLLY to Him.